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Siemens

Siemens

Siemens and Newcastle University have a long history of collaboration that spans 25 years. Since 2015, Newcastle has been one of Siemens’ strategic Principal Partner Universities, who are part of Siemens’ co-ordinated programme of academic engagement. This puts Newcastle University at the heart of Siemens’ commitment to innovation, knowledge transfer and the UK skills agenda.

Research Strength

Siemens are a lead partner in Newcastle University’s research in energy, bringing together the University’s academic expertise to bear on issues at the frontier of sector thinking. The power of the partnership in research helps Newcastle University to unlock collaborative funding for innovative projects and ensures that our expertise has impact in the real world.

With Siemens, our academics conduct diverse research and commercial consultancy including novel battery technologies and performance optimisation, power electronics, energy security, rail signalling verification, and materials and mechanical component testing for the rail and energy sectors. Knowledge transfer is critical to the partnership’s success and sees PhD students and Knowledge Transfer Partnership associates working closely with Siemens staff.

Carl Ennis, Managing Director of Siemens Energy Management, UK and Ireland, says: “The partnership brings us into contact with people on the absolute cutting edge of systems-thinking and there’s something quite refreshing about working with the PhD students and the way that they challenge us. The way that they think is different from the way that quite mature commercial organisations think. It brings very different thought processes to a problem and that has been really beneficial.”

Siemens UK CEO Juergen Maier opening the MindSphere Lab at Newcastle University.

Developing Talent

Partnership with Siemens brings opportunity to our students. A programme of student-facing engagement enables Siemens to nurture and potentially employ high-calibre students. Annually, Siemens undertakes activity through the University’s Careers Service and through key schools (including the School of Engineering and the School of Computing). The diverse portfolio includes careers fairs, arcade events, employer talks, undergraduate and postgraduate projects, placements and competitions, such as the Sir William Siemens Challenge and the TAPAS Community Challenge that aims to inspire and identify young talent (a challenge last won by a team from Newcastle University, beating 200+ entries from across Europe with their wireless sharing device).

Siemens contribute to curriculum development with initiatives such as Connected Curriculum, aimed at ensuring students are at the forefront of industry-ready skills. Newcastle students have access to the Siemens Digital Academy and sponsorship scheme, designed to help promising talent thrive in a future of industrial digitalisation and leading to graduate opportunities. Siemens were also a key sector employer in the development of our exciting new Power Engineer Integrated Degree Apprenticeship.

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New Facilities

Siemens and Newcastle University work together to develop facilities at the forefront of energy sector research. The company was instrumental in Newcastle’s success in hosting the £20m ESPRC National Centre for Energy Systems Integration. Siemens has collaborated with the University on the Smart Grid Lab, which aims to help the transition to low-carbon energy technologies. It is also one of the industry partners working closely with the University to develop the Integrated Transport Electricity and Gas Research Laboratory (InTEGReL) in Gateshead. This facility is an integrated whole energy systems development and demonstration ‘first of a kind’ facility, helping academia, industry, SMEs and government to break down traditional barriers between gas, electricity, water and transport sectors to deliver a more secure, affordable, low carbon energy system.

The company is a strategic partner in the development of the Newcastle Helix site, where facilities including its Urban Sciences Building, are based. As well as being home to the University’s School of Computing, the USB hosts the MindSphere Lab, part of Siemens’ MindSphere Innovation Network (MINe), launched to accelerate digitalisation and boost skills to meet the needs of an increasingly digitalised industry. Students, academics, industry partners and Siemens experts can use the lab to access MindSphere and harness the value of the data produced by the University and the various projects connected to the cloud-based platform from around the world.

Carl explains: “Our global partnerships are run from our headquarters in Germany. The team there mapped out our aspiration in terms of our growth portfolio and where we see our future lying, and then chose universities that aligned with that, both technically and culturally. Newcastle was selected as a partner university in 2015.”

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